Farah Hanley
Farah Hanley

Farah Hanley


Health Management Associates

Lansing, MI

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Farah Hanley is a healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience with state Medicaid programs, policies and budget initiatives. She has subject matter expertise in all aspects of Michigan’s Medicaid program and is well-versed in service delivery models and system design and financing, including managed care, behavioral health, and long-term care. Her government experience uniquely positions her to support community partners engaged with publicly funded programs.

Before joining Health Management Associates, Farah held multiple senior positions within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), including senior deputy director of financial operations administration, acting director of the department, state Medicaid director, and state behavioral health commissioner. Most recently, Farah served as chief deputy of health, leading the strategic policy vision for the State of Michigan Medicaid program and state psychiatric hospitals and centers. In this role, she led the largest scale Medicaid health plan procurement in Michigan Medicaid history, totaling approximately $75 billion over a five-year contract timeline.

Farah is skilled at implementing new and innovative health programs funded by Medicaid. She builds strategic relationships with community partners and stakeholders through effective outreach approaches, gauging need and informing decisions. By developing these programs and policies, Farah improves efficiency, access and quality of care.

As state Medicaid director, Farah oversaw the development of short- and long-term policies addressing health disparities in the state, including building out a new doula policy, an expanded dental services benefit, and the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program targeting maternal and infant health improvements among minority populations. Leading Michigan Medicaid behavioral health supports and services, she provided direction for all administrative and policy initiatives, including development of intensive specialty community-based services to address hospitals’ inpatient psychiatric bed crisis.

Farah has extensive experience in budgetary and financing oversight, including implementing cost control measures in government and healthcare. As senior deputy director of financial operations, she was responsible for the $35 billion Health and Human Services agency covering over 500 federal grants and 250 government programs. She oversaw the Bureaus of Budget, Grants and Purchasing, Fnance and Accounting, Information Technology (IT) Financial Support Services, and Audit. As part of this role, she negotiated the executive branch’s health and human service public policy priorities through demanding political and legislative budget environments throughout the seven years she held this position.

With the State Budget Office, Farah served as the division director of the Health and Human Services office, working alongside the state budget director and the state MDHHS director to negotiate Michigan’s Medicaid expansion. Farah provided the research and analysis required to make the data-driven decision to move forward with the Medicaid expansion plan and engaged in months of legislative negotiations to promote its approval. Their efforts resulted in passage of the Healthy Michigan Plan, the single largest sweeping healthcare reform legislation in the state, accounting for health care coverage for more than 850,000 Michigan residents. As part of this work, she also developed and assisted with the passage of the first Medicaid Autism benefit in the state.

Farah is a skilled change manager, restructuring organizations and refining business processes through collaboration, communication and positive cultural change. She was a lead member of the governor’s transition team tasked with leading the largest state department merger in state government history. Farah led the initiative that condensed more than 80 different financial and operational processes in the different bureaus of the newly merged department down to 35, restructured the organization, and set up one administration to oversee all the department’s financial services. This effectively streamlined the Financial Operations Administration, the largest area in the department affected by the merger, into one entity.

In addition to her expertise in Michigan’s Medicaid program, Farah has experience supporting state Medicaid programs across the country. In her early career, working with The Medstat Group, she was a senior consultant on innovative program advances and provided analytic services to inform future Medicaid policy priorities.

Farah earned her Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

In her off hours, Farah enjoys practicing yoga or crocheting and spending time together with her husband and their three grown children.